The London Eye is one of the most popular tourist attractions to have opened in London in recent years and it is often described as being one of the absolute ‘must do’ activities when you visit the capital city. However, how much do you really know about The London Eye? Most people look at The London Eye and assume it is merely a large ferris wheel. As the world’s tallest cantilever observation wheel, it is actually a lot more interesting than you may have originally realised.
Where Is The London Eye?
Most people will recognise The London Eye from photographs and images of the iconic London skyline, but knowing where to find the attraction isn’t always obvious. It is located on London’s Southbank close to the London Aquarium and the London Dungeons. the Palace of Westminster, Waterloo International and Embankment London Underground stations are all a short walk away which makes it a quick journey from the Park Grand London.
Why Was The London Eye Built?
The London Eye was first built in 1999 in celebration of the new millennium. It was formally opened on 31st December 1999 by then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. The idea was chosen from a host of entries into a competition held back in 1993 to suggest a new landmark to signify the turning of the century.
What Is The London Eye’s ‘Proper’ Name?
The London Eye has been called a lot of different names since it was first opened, most of which are linked to who was sponsoring the wheel at the time. It has previously been referred to as the British Airways London Eye, the Merlin Entertainments London Eye and the Coca-Cola London Eye. However, it is most commonly called The London Eye or The Millennium Wheel.
Can Anyone Go On The London Eye?
Yes! The London Eye is open throughout the year and visitors can buy tickets on the day or pre book to take a ride on the wheel. It takes approximately 30 minutes to complete the trip. There are great views to see from the wheel and you may even be able to see where the Park Grand London Hotel is located on a clear day. On average the London Eye receives more visitors per year than both the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza put together.
How Many Capsules Does The London Eye Have?
The London Eye has 32 capsules, one to represent each of London’s 32 boroughs. Each capsule is numbered, but number 13 has been skipped due to the superstition of bad luck that is often associated with the number. This means the capsules are numbered 1 to 12 and 14 to 33. The capsules are travelling at a leisurely pace of 26cm per second, which is twice as fast as a tortoise sprinting!
If you are visiting the city then a visit to The London Eye is well worth doing, especially if you are travelling with children or those who enjoy seeing the sights from a great height.